Summer has wrapped her warm arms around us once again, and we are embracing her blue skies, sunny days and lighter nights. The longest day of the year is almost upon us and will occur in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, at approximately 1:16 pm, when the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky.
For centuries the Summer Solstice has provided a reason for many cultures to celebrate, and the event is still commemorated with a variety of parties and festivals. One of the largest Summer Solstice festivals takes place at Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire. Visitors from around the world gather overnight to mark the Solstice, and at dawn, the central Altar stone aligns with the Slaughter Stone, Heel Stone and the Sun for a magnificent and tranquil sight.
Speaking of tranquil – If you’ve ever stepped foot in a yoga studio, you know that the sun represents energy and power on multiple levels, and in relatively every class you literally salute the sun through sun salutations (Surya Namaskara) – a sequence of movements and poses which can be practiced on varying levels of awareness. Yoga enthusiasts from around the globe annually gather in Times Square to celebrate the Summer Solstice on their mats for one of the largest yoga classes around – Namaste indeed.
And here’s a fun fact for all those June brides – The Druids celebrated the Summer Solstice as “the wedding of Heaven and Earth,” which led to the present day belief of a lucky wedding in the month of June.
Now, you don’t have to go very far to enjoy the Summer Solstice, in fact, enjoying it at home can be the best part. Whether it’s grilling out in the evening while kids ride their bikes later than normal, or sitting around a bon fire watching the sun set and realizing that it’s finally summer, the Solstice is a great excuse to enjoy the season.
What are your summer plans?